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Crosbie: Ashford will produce sporting champions PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 June 2008

ASHFORD TOWN’S planned £8.5m sports village at The Homelands will produce sporting stars of the future, says wealthy co-owner Don Crosbie, writes Stephen McCartney.

Officials at the ambitious Ryman League Division One South club have spent nine months consulting with the local parishes, local authorities and planning officers.

“We think we have covered all the points,” Mr Crosbie told www.kentishfootball.co.uk at yesterday’s press conference at the Kingsnorth based club.

“The feasibilities are in, we hope the planning application will be live within the next six weeks and then it’s down to the planning processes.

“How quick or how soon the application can be determined, that’s down to the officers and the committee.”

The plans include a 5000-seater stadium, 100-bed hotel and a sporting village complex, which has a tennis centre and all-weather pitches.

“I think the facilities we’ve got will be second to none,” said Mr Crosbie, who wants Blue Square Premier football at The Homelands in four years time.

“The sporting facilities that we’re creating, what everybody’s got to remember that is for kids as well and healthy kids make healthy adults.”

With English tennis players failing miserably at Wimbledon, Mr Crosbie believes that the expanding town of Ashford will produce future champions.

He said: Just on the tennis alone, with the four indoor tennis courts, kids can play tennis all year round.

“We’ve got youngsters who can play tennis, who could become Wimbledon champions.

“When you look around the country there’s just isn’t the facilities to keep kids’ interested.

“The facilities have got to be good these days. Kids don’t wear plimsolls anymore, they wear Nike Air trainers and it’s the same with facilities.

“If the facilities are good then the kids will be proud of them and stay in it but you must have these facilities that are available 24-7, 365 days a year.

“The new facilities will cost £8.5m. It sounds a lot of money but the revenue streams that will come from the hotel, the offices, the conference and banqueting, the pitches, the indoor tennis centre will pay for it.

“It’s a commercial venture, we don’t have to buy the land, we own the land so if we wanted to go and build this it could cost us £20m if we had to go and buy the land.

“If we was going to get someone to build it for us it would cost us probably £20m.”

Visit Ashford Town’s website: www.ashfordtownfc.co.uk

Last Updated ( Friday, 27 June 2008 )
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